Ottawa Senators 2023-24 season preview and predictions

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Ottawa Senators season preview

Ottawa might be the team that I am most excited about for this coming NHL season. After finishing six points shy of a playoff spot last season, I am very confident that this group will be playing hockey in the spring of 2024. The Senators have loaded up their top six, as well as their blue line which can only insist that it will be a fun year in the Canadian capital. 

 

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Offense

The Senators may have lost Alex DeBrincat this Summer, but in my opinion, this top six is still a scary one, especially now they’ve replaced DeBrincat with Vladimir Tarasenko. Sure, Tarasenko might not be the threat that he used to be, but with Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and a healthy Josh Norris leading the way, the Senators shouldn’t have any problem scoring goals. 

They were a top offensive team in the league last season, skating to a 3.48 expected goals per 60 and a 23.5% power play success rate, but there is still room to improve. 

Defense

Ottawa’s blue line is highlighted by Thomas Chabot, Jakob Chychrun and Jake Sanderson, who are incredible players in the National Hockey League. Chychrun will be in his first full season with the squad, which should boost them in their own end. Last season, the Senators were essentially an average defensive team, allowing 3.29 goals against per game while allowing 31.4 shots on goal per game. These numbers should be easy for this group to improve upon this season and I have much higher expectations for Ottawa’s defense in 2023-24. 

Goaltending

Ottawa has put all of their trust into Joonas Korpisalo, who is entering his first season with the club after splitting time between Columbus and Los Angeles in the 2022-23 season. It’s tough to judge his play on a horrendous Blue Jackets team, but Korpisalo had a strong showing in his brief stint with the Kings. He went 7-3-1 with Los Angeles, skating to a .921 save percentage and a 2.13 goals-against average. He should be the number one goalie, but he does have some competition against Anton Forsberg, who wasn’t his best last season but was solid enough to help this team compete. I have a good feeling about the goaltending tandem in Ottawa. 

Player To Watch – F Josh Norris

Unfortunately for Ottawa, they lost Norris eight games into the 2022-23 season due to a shoulder injury. The year prior, Norris was a 35-goal scorer and was a massive threat on their power play. Ottawa is being a little cautious with Norris during training camp as he is still in recovery mode, but he should be fully healthy for opening night. If Norris were healthy last season, Ottawa could have potentially pushed for the playoffs. Having him back is going to impact this team significantly up front, and he could potentially flirt with 30 goals yet again.

Outlook

If there is one team in the NHL that I am willing to take a risk on this season, it’s the Ottawa Senators. DraftKings Sportsbook has them at +130 to make the playoffs which tells me that it’s certainly a strong possibility. Tkachuk is one of the best leaders in the league and the vibe that this team has going into the season is one that I can get behind. Mark my words, Ottawa will be a playoff team.